DEACON KEITH FOURNIER: Your interview with Catholic Online is one the highest read stories in our history.
However, shortly after its publication, you spoke at a Church in Texas, on a Sunday morning. Of course, there is nothing unusual about that.
What caught the attention of many of our readers and viewers was a concern that the Pastor of the Church has written some material that insults the Catholic Church and has been labeled by some as anti-Catholic.
Our readers understand that you, like all of the candidates, are running for the Presidency. In other words, we know that you seek to govern the whole Nation and, of course, you must reach out to all Americans.
However, there has, unfortunately, been a history of anti-Catholicism in this Nation that we all love.
Your campaign quickly noted the presence of Catholics in many of the top positions of your campaign staff. However, the issue and the concern raised by your visit, has not gone away.
Would you comment upon your visit and on your views concerning Catholics in America?
GOVERNOR HUCKABEE: “I am invited to speak at thousands of diverse venues each year. My willingness to address a group says nothing about whether or not I agree with every tenet, policy or belief espoused by a group.
To be honest, I have never thought about having “a view” about Catholics in America.
Rather, I have enjoyed strong, personal relationships with many Catholics over the years and I would hate to think about my life without those relationships having been there.
For more than a decade, I marched side-by-side with Catholic Bishops in Arkansas’ annual March for Life.
Throughout my years as Lieutenant Governor and Governor, I enjoyed a very close relationship with leaders and members of the Catholic Church in Arkansas.
My pro-life record is largely the result of this close working relationship.
My relationships with Catholics predated my entry into politics. When I was pastoring a Baptist church in Texarkana, I had the opportunity to work closely with the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word at the St. Michael Hospital near my church. I was always welcomed warmly by the sisters when I visited the sick.
As a pastor, I held joint services with my neighboring Catholic congregation, was invited to speak in Catholic churches for special services, and had regular breakfast meetings with the Bishop of the Arkansas Diocese, Bishop Peter Sartain, now in Illinois.
Those early years of ministry showed me the value of working with caring people whether or not every one of our religious tenets line up exactly.
In short, if I held any animosity toward Catholics, I don't think Justice Scalia would have ever taken me up on my invitations to go duck hunting.
As I mentioned before, many of my top-level staff and closest advisors are Catholic, including my national campaign manager, national campaign director, my policy advisor and my campaign’s chief operating officer.
read the full interview here
Monday, December 31, 2007
Mike Huckabee Addresses Anti-Catholic Accusations
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: This blogger boldly asserts the mainstream media is attempting to drive a wedge into the social-conservative coalition in the Republican Party for the purpose of helping the democratic presidential nominee in the 2008 election. This media attempt has become so obvious that presidential candidate Mike Huckabee can't hardly get a mainstream press interview anymore without being bombarded by religious questions from mainstream news journalists. Some of these journalists have tried to use Huckabee's recent speech at Tel-evangelist John Hagee's Cornerstone Church as an opportunity to pit Catholics against Evangelicals. Hagee, like many Evangelical pastors, has a history of anti-Catholic rhetoric, and though Huckabee never made any anti-Catholic comments himself, the media has tried to smear him with that label using guilt by association. Unfortunately, many Catholics took the bait. Governor Huckabee was disturbed after learning of this, and decided to address the matter directly via 'Catholic Online'...